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What is Aggravated DUI?

By: LawInfo

Some states have a more serious drunk driving charge often referred to as an aggravated DUI, also known as “extreme DUI” or “felony DUI”. It is important to note that not all states use the term DUI, but all states do have drunk driving laws. An aggravated drunk driving charge can result from certain aggravating circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the charge. While a first drunk driving conviction is typically a misdemeanor under most states’ drunk driving laws, aggravated drunk driving constitutes a felony charge, which necessarily results in harsher punishments for drivers convicted of aggravated DUI.

Circumstances and Factors Considered in Aggravated Drunk Driving Charges

  • An extremely high blood alcohol level (BAC),
  • Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or more and a minor child is in the vehicle,
  • Driving a school bus while intoxicated,
  • Driving drunk within a school zone,
  • Serious injury or death occurs.

Once stopped for driving drunk, a person may face aggravated drunk driving charges if he or she:

  • Is caught driving without a valid driver’s license,
  • Caused another person to be seriously or fatally injured, or extensive property damage as a result of the incident,
  • Has had multiple drunk driving convictions, particularly within a certain timeframe.

A conviction for aggravated drunk driving can result in far more serious penalties than a regular drunk driving charge, which is typically a misdemeanor. Aggravated drunk driving is likely to be a felony charge in most cases, which places a permanent black mark on a person’s criminal record that may disqualify him or her for some jobs, among other things, such as:

  • Incarceration,
  • Community service,
  • Long probation terms
  • Substantial fines
  • Loss of license,
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device,
  • Vehicle confiscation.

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